A Bad Month for Monsanto; A Good Month for Food and Farmers

It’s been a rough month for biotech and chemical industrial giant Monsanto. On May 25, 2013, millions of people in 250 cities in 52 countries around the world protested against Monsanto’s GMO activities and its corrupting influence in governments. Investigations confirmed that Monsanto’s unapproved GMO wheat has inexplicably escaped into the wild and now contaminates wheat fields in Oregon, even though the field trial experiments for that GMO wheat took place long ago and far away. Monsanto finally abandoned its intensive lobbying efforts to strong-arm European governments to approve its GMO plant varieties. And Connecticut became the first state in the United States to pass a bill that would require food manufacturers to label products that contain genetically modified ingredients. (For the Connecticut labeling requirement to take effect, additional states totaling at least 20 million in population must also pass similar legislation, and one of the states must border Connecticut.)

The recent discovery of wheat contaminated by unapproved GMOs (no genetically engineered wheat has ever been approved for U.S. farming) has already resulted in export order cancellations.  As we said in our prior post, GMOs: Food, Money & Control,  GMO contamination is virtually inevitable.  But Monsanto reportedly is suggesting that “sabotage” may be responsible for the contamination: “Monsanto Says Rogue Wheat in Oregon May Be Sabotage”.  This sounds awfully reminiscent of Union Carbide’s initial and never-proven claims that the toxic gas release at Bhopal, India that killed thousands was the result of sabotage.

In fact, Monsanto joins Union Carbide and BP Oil as one of the select few corporations whose irresponsible conduct has merited worldwide condemnation and protests on such a global scale.

While all of this is uncharacteristically bad news for Monsanto (it’s accustomed to bullying and buying its way to get what it wants), it’s good news for people, food and the planet.  We are hopeful that the Connecticut GMO labeling law might finally create the momentum for other states to require labeling, and thus provide U.S food consumers with the same information about GMO in food that most other citizens of the industrialized world enjoy. We are hopeful that disclosure of the wheat contamination might force a re-examination of the wisdom of allowing uncontrollable genetic experimentation with our food supply. And we are hopeful that protests by awakened citizenry might finally create the tipping point for a return to sustainable and environmentally-sound agriculture.

There are actions you can take today.  Tell the USDA to immediately ban field tests of genetically engineered crops.  Why should farmers be subjected to the risks of contamination from genetic experimentation years after the experiments end? Genetically modified organisms cannot be controlled. Contamination happens all the time while companies like Monsanto experiment with nature and our food supply. Putting an end to field testing is the only way to stop it.  You can take action  here at the Greenpeace site: http://us.greenpeace.org/site/MessageViewer?em_id=31601.0&dlv_id=37381

You can also join Friends of the Earth in asking grocery stores, restaurants, chefs and other food companies to take the Pledge for GE-Free Seafood.  By joining, companies are making public their policies not to purchase or sell genetically engineered salmon or other genetically engineered seafood.

Help keep genetically engineered seafood off grocery store shelves and off our plates: https://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/455/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=12854&tag=actcenter2

Concerned citizens are engaged in efforts around the United States to require GMO food labeling within their states.  Online petitions are available for you to take action. See, e.g. VermontNorth Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania,   Information about other state GMO labeling initiatives can be found at the State Labeling Initiatives page at the Center for Food Safety website and at the Non-GMO Project.

Take action today.

One response to “A Bad Month for Monsanto; A Good Month for Food and Farmers

  1. This is not a fact that strange, all over the world today, politicians are the people make decisions. Usually, they are poor, gigantic manufacturers invest on politicians to come into power. Then, they let their contributors to earn the investment in return with a big profit. Politics and profits are forming our food supply more than concerns about food and environmental safety. Then, I do not believe that just protesting against to certain groups of people is not enough. Our responsibility is making the change in us to be environmental friendly. It can be done only through understanding the reality of life. Bhikkhu Bodhi can get the leadership as he can talk to Americans directly and he is an authoritative figure in global Buddhist community today.